A--Â« Â«ndÂ«y, May 30, 117* Th* 0Â«y InMr I America remembers its war heroes Â·yWIOMMCK InMr LÂ«kÂ« Wuttngton correspondent WASHINGTON - Among the commemorations taking place Â·TOand the country during this bicentennial year, a lew very special ones are quietly being carried out on hallowed ground: the gravesites of American medal of honor winners. It was on March 25, 1863 that the first ceremony marking the award of the nation's highest military honor was conducted. Receiving the award that day were six Union Army soldiers who voluntarily had participated in a daring attempt behind Southern lines to sever Tennessee's railroad link to the Confederacy. The latest such ceremony -- some 3,100 medal winners later -- was at the White House In March of this year for four men, including one posthumous recipient who died in a V i e t c o n g prison ind was represented by his family. In special tribute to these Americans who displayed courage "above and beyond the call of duty," the federal government is In the process of replacing the current headstones matting their graves with new headstones bearing an enlarged representation of the five- pointed medal and the words "Medal of Honor." Who were or are these medal winners -- about 300 of whom still are living? "For the most part they were young," said Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), speaking at the first web oaveUlac ceremony earUtr this month (Hay 11) at Honolulu'* famous "Punch Bowl" memorial cemetery. "Many had wives and some h a d c h i l d r e n . They represented, however, the full spectrum of American youth; both rich and poor, from big city and small town, of every race and creed, of every ethnic heritage. They had but one thing in common -- their tove for America." Inouye, who lost his right arm fighting in Italy as a young U.S. Army officer in World War II, noted correctly that the popularity -- or lack of it -- of the various wars in which some 1.1 million Americans gave their lives in no way affects the sacredness of their individual sacrifice, Of tfaote who died bravely, the teoator said: "Etch faced death undoubtedly fearing it and wanting to live. But each also heard that higher call -- the call vhat throughout our history hat nude so many young Americans willing to risk life itself ia the search for something bigger than self. "Unfortunately, the names are soon forgotten,..But their deeds do live on and provide much of the cement which forms the foundation for our national pride. Were it not for their example, America would surely be a far different place -- and the stuff of which our history is woven a far less inspiring tapestry." Honolulu's Punch Bowl Cemetery is a fitting symbol of the basic unity and strength of purpose that un- derfirtfs this utio*. Â«vea IB Â· political year marked by transient, less important tawc* that odKrwte tend to divide us. The cemetery holds Â» medal of honor winners -more than any other, with the notable exception of Arlington National with its JOO-plus medal winners. Carved on the site of a quiescent volcano, Punch Bowl was opened in July 1949. It has since become the final resting place for 26,000 men and women whose contributions and sacrifices for liberty varied widely, Amont them are 13,000 World War II returnees f r o m Guadalcanal, Burma, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Guam and the prison camps of Japan In 19S3, 178 persons killed on Wake Island were reinterred at Punch Bowl All Ml Unknowns from the Korean conflict are there. And lamed war correspondent Ernie Pyte was brought to Punch Bowl from le Shtma. where he was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire in IMS. Today the cemetery is vjjiied by fully 70 per cent of tourists to Hawaii, according to the Chamber of Commerce there. Most consistent of all national groups to visit the site, interestingly, arÂ« the Japanese, virtually all of whose charter bus tours stop there. Especially In this political season, it is refreshing to consider such indisputable subjects of national pride as these Americans who died so the rest of us could live to celebrate our country's 200th birthday in freedom. letters to the editor A Memorial Day tribute to veterans EDITOR: "I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American; and I intend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career. I mean to do this with absolute disregard of personal consequences... "Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless. No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer, or if he fall, in defense of the liberties and constitution of his country." Those words were spoken in our nation's younger years by Daniel Webster. And how well they express the valiant spirit of those we honor today. They were Americans when their country needed them, they put aside personal considerations and shouldered arms, leaving homes and families to defend the freedoms of American democracy. They suffered. They fell. p; -FlSirjsacrifice was ultimate. One ^faa^givft no more than his life. ^ This year marks ou- ration's 200th i 'anniversary. We should pay a special tribute today to the 4,500 patriots who gave their lives in America's first war.. - The War of Independence. In the summer of 1775, it was truly a citizens' army. Farmers, shopkeepers and tradesmen left their farms and businesses to rid our land of British rule once and for all. But these farmers and shopkeepers were willing to do battle with Britain's best troops and Europe's best mercinaries. Thus the 4,500 men who fell in the War of Independence and wars that followed, did in fact, start America on the road to independence. But this isn't the total human cost of America's freedom. Millions more left parts of their bodies and minds on the battlefield. They lived, but they will never forget the'human costs of war because they carry with them the constant reminders of those costs. More than two and a half million veterans today bear the physical and mental scars of war. A half million of them belong to the organization I represent -- The Disabled American Veterans. They are men and women dedicated to our heritage as American's who proved their patriotism by paying the price of liberty. We do not glorify war. War is the most hideous fact of human condition. It deserves no glory. American men and women don't go to war for glory. But if we are really sincere, as Americans should be; then we must live lives which justify the sacrifices made by our men and women in time of war. By that I mean the preservation of a democracy purchased at so high a price is in the hands of those who live when wars are f i n i s h e d . A democracy places heavy demands on its citizens because they are responsible for their government. A government can only be as good as the people who allow it to exist. Finally, let us not forget those men and women who still arc listed as missing-in-action in the jungles of far off Southeast Asia. For they fought a war which caused deep rifts in our society. Many may have been unsure of the value of that war themselves but they did answer the call as othef Americans before them. So as we honor our war dead today, let us reaffirm our belief in Americanism and the principles for which it stands. Dick Bain Kalispell Campaigner clarifies Rice position EDITOR: While campaigning for Georgia Ruth- Rice in the Flathead area recently I have encountered some adverse reaction concerning an episode which occurred in Whitefish last spring. This incident concerned the Whitefish school busing system. In her capacity as public transportation safety supervisor she stopped the buses from running here because of overloaded conditions. Several of the persons I have talked to had an extremely adverse reaction to this and I feel that in justice to Georgia this matter deserves clarification. As pupil transportation safety supervisor her primary concern was the safety of the school children. I feel that in this instance intervention was necessary and highly appropriate in order to point up the seriousness of this situation. I personally know Mrs. Rice to be a highly dedicated and conscientious teacher. I had the benefit of working with her in the Havre school system for several years where she innovated a new program of statewide importance in her department. Georgia is the only person on the democratic ticket for state superintendent of public instruction who has extensive prior teaching experience and is the only Democratic candidate with statewide experience working now in the office of the superintendent of public instruction. Sandra Hall Whitefish Another campaigner expresses views EDITOR: On Thursday evening, May 13, I was in Whitefish Galling on homes in support of Georgia Ruth Rice for state superintendent of public instruction. At one house a gentleman (?) started shouting at me that Ms. Rice had, in 1975, ordered alt of the school buses at Whitefish checked; and some of t h e m stopped for overloading, so why should he vote for anyone that would do such a thing? I encountered several other people at various homes who mentioned this incident. I would like to emphasize that Ms. Rice took that measure for the protection of the children who ride in those buses. She presently is employed as pupil transportation safety supervisor in the office of Mr. Colburg (Supt. of Public Instruction Dolores Colburg -- Ed.) and took action on the overloading of school buses in Whitefish before a tragedy could occur. For the past three years, while working in the office of the state superintendent of public insturction, Georgia has been devoting her efforts to the protection and well-being of our children. And to be criticized for carrying out these duties is extremely unfair, in my opinion. The office she holds was created solely for the protection of the children and any deviation from the rules for the convenience of others shouldn't be tolerated. Parents, are you aware? Martha J. Snyder Kalispell from the mayor's desk by normahapp Saturday, June 5, the City of Kalispell will have a garage sale! We have amassed all surplus equipment at our city shops located on First Avenue West and 13th Street. The sale will commence at 10 a.m. with the area opened at 8 a.m. that day for inspection. Interested persons also may inspect this equipment any weekday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Our procedure will be as follows. Bid sheets will be djstributed listing all items. Minimum prices acceptable will be listed opposite each piece of equipment. The bidder may then submit a sealed bid on the particular item he is interested in. After the sealed bid is opened, oral bidding by participants will be allowed. The city reserves the right to re- ject any or all bids and the terms are cash. This sale came about in an effort to clean up the shop area. The city also has torn down several old buildings it owned in an effort to beautify Kalispell. A list of the equipment offered includes the following: 1955 International dump truck; 1956 Chevrolet dump truck; 1958 Chevrolet dump truck; 21-yard gravel storage bin; Snow plow with truck mount; Two Gravely riding lawnmowers; Toro riding lawnmower; Heavy duty 8-wheel trailer; Front-end loader for Ford tractor; Post hole auger; Side broom street sweeper; 500-gallon oil distributor trailer; 1959 Chevrolet one-ton flatbed truck; Two sewer bucket machines with winch and 8-hp motors; Two-power takeoff street Sanders; Mud jack; Tar pot; Two heavy duty concrete wheel barrows; 10-ft. chip spreader for dump truck mounting; Portable hot mix plant for truck mounting; Two wheel trailer; Two barrel stove; Bicycles. An accumulation of unclaimed bicycles also will be auctioned off by Police Chief LeRoy McDowell. It is our hope that this sale will be successful and everyone will find something they want. The revenue raised will be placed in the general fund. The Father of our country returns WASHINGTON - On the 200th anniversary of the United States, it is only fair to speculate how George Washington would do if his presidential campaign was being managed by some of the people who are involved with today's campaigns. "George, you're a very popular figure, but the fact you won the war for us doesn't necessarily mean you'll be elected as the first President of the United States. We're going to have to work on your image." "What do you suggest?" "Well, for a starter, you're going to have to get rid of those wooden teeth. We're going to have to get you some ivory ones that shine so when you smile everyone can see them." "I have no intention of smiling. I hate to smile. Have yon ever seen one painting of me smiling?" art Vbuchwald "All right, forget the teeth. We need a slogan that will catch the imagination of the 13 states." "How about 'Vote for a man who has never been to Washington'?" "You are Washington, George." "I meant Washington, D.C." "There is no Washington, D.C. It won't be named that until after you die. If you're elected, you're going to have to live in New York and Philadelphia." "Well, I'm not sure I want to be President if I can't live in Washington, D.C." "It doesn't make any difference where you live. The important thing is to get you elected as the first President of the United States." "I'm not certain I want to be the first President of the United States." "But don't you see that if you are, you will go down in history as the 'Father of Our Country.' If you don't go for it, John Adams will. We have to launch a 'Stop Adams Campaign,' and you're the only one who can do it." "He's not a bad fellow." "George, would you want the capital of the United States to be called Adams, D.C.?" "No, I guess not. What do you want me to do?" "First, we have to show that you're completely honest. The question is, how do we do it?" "What if I say that if I am elected, I will never lie to the American people." "That's good, but how do we dramatize it?" "Well, I never told anyone this story. But when I was a kid, we had this cherry tree on our plantation and I went out with an ax and chopped it down. It was my father's favorite tree, and he was really mad, so he said, 'George, do you know who chopped down my cherry tree?' I still had the ax in my hand so I figured I'd better tell the truth and said, 'I did it father 1 - and he whaled the living daylights out of me, just for one lousy cherry tree." "That's beautiful. We'll put out a press release on that story right away. The papers will eat it up. Anything else you can tell us that will help the campaign?" "I once threw a silver dollar across the Potomac." ; "You'd better not talk about that. It might give the taxpayers the impression you're willing to throw away their money." "Wait a minute. Let's not reject that out of hand. Suppose we say George threw a silver dollar across the Potomac and then swam over to retrieve it. It would show he really cared for a buck." "But, gentlemen, that would be a lie." "Look, George, every President of the United States is going to have to lie to the people sooner or later. If you start a precedent of absolutely no lying, no one will ever be able to govern the country." Â· . "I hadn't thought of that. Okay, you can say I swam over and got it back." "Great, we'll leak it to the papers. Now what about detente with the Indians?" "What about it?" "We'll say you're for better relations with the Indians, but detente is a two-way street. If they want to buy grain from us, they're going to have to give us Ohio." "Why do we need Ohio?" "We need Ohio, just in case John Adams wins the primary in Pennsylvania."
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